The funding injection, led by investment syndicate Kelvin Capital, will accelerate the production of units from FreeFlow Technologies’ (FFT) production line in 2022, ready to be sold into the fast-growing e-bike sector.
Chaired by Martin McCourt, former global chief executive of Dyson, the business completed a previous funding round in November 2020, securing £1.85m, which saw the firm move to new headquarters and research and development (R&D) facility in East Kilbride and adding senior technical positions and assembly engineers. The company also raised £1.8m in October 2018.
The latest funding, which was also supported by Equity Gap, Scottish Enterprise and many private individuals, will see additional staff recruited across electrical and software engineering, process engineering and design.
More than 70 cycling brands are said to have FFT’s electronic transmission system unit on their radar for integration into their e-bike ranges.
FFT’s patented transmission system is more lightweight and compact, with the motor and battery easily assembled into the bicycle frame rather than an oversized attachment as is common with current electric bikes. The system also connects the independent bike shops around the world to FFT as the unit can be serviced in store.
The firm, founded in 2012 in Glasgow by e-bike innovator Neil MacMartin following 15 years in his family bike business, has a senior management team made up of experts in design, development, financial planning and cycling industry experts.
McCourt said: “FreeFlow Technology will soon be on sale, incorporated into a number of leading bike brands, and we are thrilled to have had such enthusiastic support from our existing investors as well as several new ones.”
David Hemming, managing director of FFT, said: “Despite the impact of Covid on societies around the world over the last two years, the demand and adoption of e-bikes continues to grow significantly, which is being reflected in the number of cycle manufacturers reaching out to us.
“One of the major appeals of the FreeFlow system for e-bike designers is that it is very much ‘plug and play’ and can work in harmony with a brand’s existing battery or switch suppliers. It has also been commented that it makes an e-bike look and feel like a normal bike which is a big attraction for consumers.”
John McNicol from Kelvin Capital said: “The rise in the number of people taking to cycling and e-biking was already rising before the impact of Covid and that has increased significantly in the last two years.
“The impressive progress made by FreeFlow Technologies to move to production, its increasing reputation in the global cycling sector and its impressive management team means that Kelvin Capital is delighted to continue to back the business.”
Scottish Enterprise director of growth investments Kerry Sharp added: “Scottish Enterprise is proud to have supported Freeflow’s growth journey as it moves from development phase into manufacturing of its e-bike transmission system technology which it aims to supply to major brand e-bike manufacturers from its base in East Kilbride.”